Thanks for the comments, but I am really trying to get answers to this question. Maybe it would help if I added more to my question. Since the Bible doesn't give a definition of gossip, but only instructs us to not gossip it makes this a little harder for me.
It seems knowing what to say and what not to say is important on so many fronts, even beyond work; small group, ministry staff issues, kids, spouses, friends and the list goes on. If we truly want to help others we need to do some research before we go to them, but that seems like it can easily turn into gossip.
How can we irritate others to love and good deeds when we don't have all the facts? We can observe others behavior but we still may be left with something that doesn't exactly fit from what is being said compared to what is being done.
I guess the thing I am wondering if the "private" part. If I am doing something publicly, for all to see, and whatever it is I am doing does not fit with what I am saying, should others be able to discuss my public actions without me being there? It seems that is totally different than if the discussion is about something that is totally private; like the tabloid kind of stuff.
So, that ask the question with an example; is it gossip to watch someone being rude to someone else, watch the hurt on the offended party's face. knowing that you have had the same experience with the same rude person go to the offended party and ask if this is a pattern in this other person's life?
That seems much different that going and asking if they had heard about such and such a thing that was happening in this person's home that no one else knows about.
Looking for wisdom and counsel.